Monthly Archives: May 2013

Week of May 13: Assata conclusion

220px-AssatabioThis week we finish the autobiography of Assata Shakur. For Monday 5/13, finish Assata: pages 215-274 (chapters 15-Postscript). Again, make sure to pay attention to the various poems she includes in the story on pages 240 (“Current Events”), 259 (“To My Daughter Kakuya”), and 263 (“The Tradition”). Think also about the themes that Mary Phillips raised in her talk on Wednesday. Also, here is the Democracy Now! newsmagazine story on recent developments in Assata’s case.

For Wednesday 5/15 (re)read my guide to final exams, “Zen and the Art of Finals” (PDF), which will help you begin to prepare for our final (and hopefully others as well). Think about major themes that we’ve been talking about all semester and bring questions to the class. We’ll spend the last class reflecting on the semester and have an open prep/ study session for the final exam.

As a reminder, the final is Monday, May 20, 1:30-3:30 PM in the regular classroom. Be sure to arrange for childcare/ time off work/ whatever you need to do now, as there will be no make-ups, except for extraordinary circumstances. Unless you can provide a hospital or arrest record (your own, not a family member’s), you get no make-up. “My family bought plane tickets to go on vacation” or similar is not an extraordinary circumstance in my book. Consider college a job and be up front with family, friends, etc. about what that commitment means.

Week of May 6: Assata, continued

220px-AssatabioThis week we continue with our last book of the semester, the autobiography of Assata Shakur. For Monday 5/6, read my guide to final exams, “Zen and the Art of Finals” (PDF), which will help you begin to prepare for our final (and hopefully others as well). In Assata, read pages 118-172 (chapters 7-11). Again, make sure to pay attention to the various poems she includes in the story on pages 130 (“Love”), 140 (“Stranger”), 146 (“Leftovers: What is Left”), 159 (“Culture”) and 163-4. Think also about the themes that Don Ramon of Rutgers raised in his talk today and if these return in the text. Think about her long speech to the court on pages 166-70. What does this show about her development as a person and a woman? Also think about what the “American Dream” represents to her.

s200_mary.phillipsFor Wednesday 5/8 Mary Phillips of Lehman’s African and African American Studies Department joins us as a guest speaker for Assata. She’ll discuss Assata as a Black Feminist text and talk about some of the political aspects of the book. Read pages 173-215 (chapters 12-14) to prepare. Pay attention to the “To My Momma” poem on p. 193 and her description of her time as a CUNY student.